Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Saving Sleep - Our sleep solution story

Caden started life out as a pretty darn good sleeper. We had some rough times at the beginning with getting him to sleep on his back, in his pack n play, or transitioning him out of being swaddled. But overall compared to what I've read and heard from people, he was a "good sleeper" At 6 weeks he slept "through the night" for a few months.

Then... he, my mom and I took a trip. Caden's first big trip, we flew to Raleigh, North Carolina. We all shared a hotel room and here's where I "broke the good sleeper" I made the horrible mistake of picking him up and nursing him every time he woke up. Even if he wasn't crying. I did this for a week because I didn't want to wake my mom or the neighboring visitors. I thought it was a good idea. Most night's he'd sleep from 8-4, so it didn't seem like a big deal.

When we got back from this trip is when I realized what a fatal mistake I had made. He now had to go back to sleeping in his own room, alone. He started waking up 2 or 3 times a night. I was exhausted. 7 months of no certain sleep routine does a number on your body and mind. Ask Levi, I wasn't the same person. I was cranky, snapped easier than ever, didn't have motivation. It sucked.

So, one day a few weeks ago I decided that sleep was probably the answer to all our problems and Caden needed to be fixed. After all the advice, the googling, and what have you, I couldn't quite figure out what was going to work best for us. I knew waking up with him and nursing him wasn't the answer.

I hadn't decided anything but one night, Caden woke up at 10:30pm after going down at 7:30pm. I lay in bed and decided right then and there that I was going to let him cry it out. I swore on my life when he was born I'd NEVER let him cry it out. That was just cruel and terrible. But I was fed up. Levi asked me if I wanted him to go get Caden. I said no, just let him go.

After a few minutes I went and got the video monitor to watch him for peace of mind. That help a lot. I could see that he wasn't hurt or wet. I repeatedly told myself "My parents and Levi's probably let us cry it out and we're fine, we still love our mom's" He cried for an excruciating 40 minutes and then crashed back to sleep. A huge weight was lifted when he fell asleep.

Ever since that night, he has slept at least 7 to 7, every night. My body took a few weeks to get used to it but ever since we "fixed" Caden, life has been so wonderful!!!

I'm convinced that the cry it out method is the quickest way to fix sleep problems. It is REALLY tough listening to your little baby cry and cry but it only took 1 night! ONE!

Fixing his nighttime sleep also helped improve his napping! He now takes a 2ish hour nap every morning around 10am and an hour in the afternoon, when we're home. When we go to work it throws things off but he definitely gets 2 hours or more some how.

I know everyone has different opinions about how to handle sleep and babies crying but this worked for us. And without the support of your partner nothing will work. You have to be on the same page and support each other through everything. I know a long while back Levi suggested we let him cry, I wasn't ready. I was, at the time, content with waking up.

Overall after being a strong "hater" towards the Cry It Out method, I have been converted and I suggest trying it if you can stick with it!

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